Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) told Fox Business why Chinese Communist government-tied TikTok has to be bought out by Americans.
Barr slammed TikTok as “foreign propaganda” in a Nov. 2 Varney & Co. Fox Business appearance. During the interview, the congressmen stressed that TikTok is not a free and private agent, but a tool of the CCP, influencing Americans. Therefore the popular app is “not a free marketplace of ideas,” and must be sold to an American owner.
“I believe in freedom of speech,” Barr stated. He further explained, though, that he does not have to support TikTok to be pro-free speech. “[W]hen you have a platform that doesn’t deliver true freedom of speech, when it manipulates speech, when it’s not a free marketplace of ideas, and it is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party and their algorithms,” which “elevated [the] voices of some and suppress[ed] the voices of others, that’s not free speech – that is CCP-directed foreign propaganda.”
Barr proposed a solution. “[W]e need to facilitate or advocate for the sale of TikTok technology to an American-controlled company where you really, truly would have a free marketplace of ideas,” he said. “But we certainly don’t want to perpetuate this foreign propaganda.” The House Select Committee on the CCP shared the video on X (formerly Twitter) and commented, “Committee Member @RepAndyBarr on the need to ban @tiktok_us.”
Indeed, the CCP owns a board seat and maintains a financial stake in TikTok’s parent company ByteDance. As Barr noted, TikTok regularly censors free speech. For instance, MRC Free Speech America found 11 pro-free speech organizations and individuals including MRCTV, Live Action and Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton “permanently banned” by TikTok in Sept. 2022. Most recently, TikTok boasted of removing 500,000 videos related to the Hamas-Israel conflict.
Barr echoes the concerns of many adamant TikTok critics. For example, several experts including Fox News China expert Gordon Chang told MRC Free Speech America in March that TikTok also presents serious national security and data risks. “We know that [TikTok] pushes critical race theory, it glorifies drug use,” Chang said. “These are narratives that Beijing finds to weaken American society, and these are things you don’t see on Douyin, which is the sister site in China.”
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